From the Courts
January 9, 2009
Chief Magistrate fed up with teens “finding guns”

Chief Magistrate Sonya is perplexed by the number of young men who have been finding illegal firearms around St Vincent and the Grenadines. “It seems like guns are growing everywhere. I am fed up with 17 and 18 year-olds finding guns and people my age not finding them at all,” Young stated.{{more}}

At the time, Magistrate Young was addressing a matter where she sentenced 18-year-old Stubbs resident Kevon Simon to 18 months imprisonment for possession of a firearm on December 24, 2008, at Diamond. Simon pleaded guilty to the charge when he appeared at the Serious Offences Court on Monday.

The circumstances surrounding Simon’s arrest are that he was in the company of 28-year-old Daniel James, of Stubbs, in the Diamond area when police officers on foot patrol duty heard gunshots ring out. The officers went to where the shots were heard and found both men in a stooping position.

Simon, who was holding the gun, when cautioned by the officers stated that it belonged to James. They were both arrested and appeared at the Kingstown Magistrates Court on Friday, January 2, 2009. James pleaded not guilty and the charge against him was dismissed.

In a plea of mitigation, Simon’s attorney, Arthur Williams, said that both men found the gun in a field of peas and were about to carry it to Police Officer Jack. According to instructions given by his client, Williams further mentioned to the court that it was James who fired off the gun, which at the time contained blank bullets. Williams added that James handed back the gun to Simon after he fired it and that was when the police who were passing by saw him with the gun in his possession.

Williams served notice on Magistrate Young that he intended to appeal the sentencing. The veteran attorney requested that Simon be granted bail, pending appeal of sentencing.